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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

"CQ Transistor" -- The 1958 Mighty Milliwatt

I think it is time that we get back to our QRP roots.  Perhaps under the influence of the wizard of Newbury Park (N6QW), we've all been drifting into the world of high power.  It starts innocently:  you hook up a second gel cell to the IRF-510 and suddenly you are at 20 watts out from the BITX.   Before you know it, you have an uncontrollable urge for 3-500Z's.   Here is a story that will get us back on the QRP track:

It was September 1958.   On the 14th of that month I began my first orbit of the Sun.  Band conditions were VERY good.  OM Don Stoner was on 10 meters with a homebrew solid-state milliwatt rig calling CQ TR, CQ TR (CQ Transistor).  Jarno PA3DMI in Amsterdam sent me the link to a Radio News article by Don Stoner.   The article (and the entire magazine) is a lot of fun.  Check it out.  The QRP fun begins on page  51.    Thanks Jarno!

Monday, February 27, 2017


Steve VE7SL recently discussed Heathkit's wise use of the color green in the VF-1 and DX-100 frequency readouts.   The power of green is visible in the above photo of the N2CQR AM station. (I used this gear to check into the Old Military Radio Net and the Lonely Guys' Net on 75 meters on Saturday).  Note the VF-1 on the shelf in the upper left, and the awesome green oscilloscope trace.  Juliano Blue is all well and good, but let's not deny THE POWER OF GREEN.

Steve's discussion (and cool Knack story):

Sunday, February 26, 2017

CONFIRMED: Andy G6LBQ Has The Knack (and OTD)

The early fascination with small light bulbs, switches, and batteries confirms the diagnosis. The Ladybird group seems to have led many a young British person down the path to OTD (see the web site for more info on this malady).

Andy writes:

Hi Bill
I have built a few BitX transceivers and developed a 9 band version which has been built by various hams around the world.
Always look forward to the SolderSmoke podcast which I enjoy immensely.
For your interest I have attached some pictures to show you some of the modules I have designed/developed and built for my Multi-Band projects. The SMD boards are for my latest project which I call the Irwell Transceiver, my intention is to make it all band HF and multimode.
Hopefully my pictures will meet with the SolderSmoke approval and the inauguration can take place for recognition that I officially have The Knack, failing this it will be a Basta moment at the G6LBQ workshop!
Keep up the great work you do with SolderSmoke which brings pleasure, fun and inspiration to hams all over the world.
Kind Regards
Andy de G6LBQ


Saturday, February 25, 2017

G0ETP's Amazingly Beautiful SDR Rig

This is almost too much for an HDR guy to take. Really impressive. 

Check out his page: 

Friday, February 24, 2017

More DSB, from Belgium and Spain

Frank ON6UU writes:

Hello Soldermelters,
Maybe some interesting news for you as there are some new kits at hand from EA3GCY (
I’ve made the MFT-40 DSB without any problem,  all parts were provided with the kit,  only things to buy were a microphone connector,  a speaker and an antenna plug.   The box was taken from my attic and was a VGA-selector in his previous life.
Kit came together in a few evenings,  I followed the very well written manual,  all was well pointed out,  which resulted in a working kit.  After aligning the kit I could start making qso’s.   The microphone was made from a piece of tube,  a simple switch and a electret microphone,  it doesn’t look pretty but the microphone works.
Rx-Tx 7.066 – 7.133  (With DDS the complete 7MHz band)
Pwr :  some 3W peak.
Double Side Band
Made some You-tube films about it.  
Easy to make,  no SMD,  easy alignment without necessity of expensive material.   Fine for someone who never made a transceiver,  hence the name...My First Transceiver,  MFT.   As soon as the weather permits I will take the TRX out in the field and activate a SOTA with it.
Now working on the MFT-20 DSB.   I’m hoping for an 80mtr version to come available too.  :-)
All info is on Javier’s site. (
72, 73
Keep the solder melting !!

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